Illustrations by Mia Coleman.

Illustrations by Mia Coleman.

Afrofuturism is an aesthetic and subculture that takes black people outside the constructs of time and space. It’s like black science fiction—a genre that people of color are often excluded from. I heard of Afrofuturism through Janelle Monáe and Erykah Badu and had a vague idea of what it was. Then I took an Afrofuturism-themed creative writing workshop this summer and was exposed to all sorts of afrofuturistic literature and poetry. After that class, I started to notice Afrofuturism everywhere. Books like Beloved by Toni Morrison, short stories like “Blackout Runway” by Tara Betts, and films like Sun Ra’s Space Is the Place discuss issues that pertain to the African diaspora with elements of science fiction and magical realism.

The musicians on this playlist combine funk elements, West African–influenced beats, and electronic melodies with lyrics that have themes of liberation and justice. Take a listen to these Afrofuturistic tunes and learn more about transcending time and space.

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